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Norwegian Apparel Company in Good Mood Over RFID

Moods of Norway boosted sales of men's shirts and suits by double digits during a six-month pilot at two stores using an RFID solution from Nedap, by ensuring inventory is accurate; the company has now rolled out the technology at 13 of its locations.
By Claire Swedberg

Moods of Norway next intends to integrate the RFID software with its own enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, so that inventory data collected from readers will automatically be forwarded to the company's back-end software.

MoN also intends to begin using RFID to record when goods are moved from the backroom to the sales floor, thereby ensuring that there is an accurate inventory record of the goods stored in the backroom, and that replenishment in that backroom is carried out when needed. To enable this, Haak says, Nedap will provide its !D Top wall-mount reader, which comes with "dynamic beam steering" to track the angle from which a tag's RF signal is received, in order to identify in which direction a tag is moving. This, he says, will enable the firm to understand if an item is leaving a store, or if it is moving from the backroom to the sales floor. The read data will be sent to the cloud-based server, where Nedap software updates each item's status to indicate if something has left the backroom and must, therefore, be replenished.

Nedap's Danny Haak
At one store's exit, Moods of Norway is currently testing an !D Gate hybrid 8.2 MHz EAS and passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reading device provided by Nedap. In this case, the UHF reader captures the ID number of any tagged product leaving the store, and thereby updates inventory levels to reflect that the item is now missing and must be replenished.

With the use of RFID, Hübert says, the pilot stores not only achieved a double-digit sales increase for the tagged product categories, but also showed better general performance compared with MoN's other store locations. He attributes this to employees being happier with their work since they can spend more time with customers and less time searching for missing stock. "I hope to see the same response in the other stores," he says. Haak also believes such sales lifts can be explained, in part, because a customer who finds one product available at the store is more likely to buy accompanying items. The company also hopes, in the near future, to enable online customers to pick up purchased goods at neighboring stores, thanks to the improved inventory accuracy resulting from its adoption of RFID.

"A main goal is to take away non-value-adding activities from the store employees," Hübert states. "The time we can free up [by] using RFID in the stores, the store employees will use on what they love to do: providing excellent customer service."

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